Rich Presence

By April 26, 2010blog

Each year I say it can’t get any better and it does. A week ago I was at my annual inspirational trip to Boston for the Gathering of Titans (GOT). It’s a wonderful group of 60 entrepreneurs that bring in 20 or so speakers over the course of three days. They challenge and inspire our way of thinking, being, and doing like nothing else.

This year I walked away with a nugget that, while so obvious and subtle, has given me a dramatically richer/more colorful view of life.
In past years I would go to GOT with my laptop and cell phone a blazing. Doing emails, tweeting, text messaging – all in the name of “I can multi-task AND still get the nuggets out of the speakers”. The night I arrived this year my iPhone wouldn’t turn on. At first I panicked about the idea of not being able to connect for days. And then it hit me, this is perfect! I got a smile on my face and decided to up the ante’ by not bringing my computer into the meeting room either (I did use it at night to video conference with Chelsea & Q (my wife and 4 month old)).
As I sat through the presentations this year I felt a calmness and richness that I haven’t felt in a long time. It hit me this was the start of “being present” for me. Just listening, absorbing, and feeling what was coming through each speaker. Then I started to realize how much of my life is distracted with making plans, responding to emails, checking Twitter & Facebook, texting, and my ongoing infatuation was getting things done.
A couple of the speakers echoed the power of being present
When I got back to Boulder – I got a new iPhone but didn’t load a single new app. Haven’t used it for email, facebook, twitter, or anything else. I haven’t even loaded my contacts back onto it. And it FEELS great!
I am now using email for just 1 hour a day (or less). And feel that urge to be instantly “responsive” fading away.
I am finding a deeper richness in every interaction where I am thinking about “other” things less and less distracted with being “plugged in”. I LOVE my in-person meetings (always have), because I love how deep and rich they have always felt to me. The less time I distract my self with technology, the more time I am finding to be present and in the presence of other great people.

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